Red Rock a lynchpin for loyal JD Edwards users

Twice-acquired JDE has a strong following in New Zealand

JD Edwards (JDE) software receives little publicity in tech media these days, but New Zealand has one of the largest installed bases per capita in the world.

In 2003 Peoplesoft bought its smaller ERP rival JDE, but little more than a year later was swallowed by Oracle in a $US10.3 billion acrimonious buyout.

Locally JDE applications are used by companies such as Fulton Hogan, Auckland Airport, Foodstuffs and Ravensdown.

All are customers of Red Rock, which is the largest independent provider of Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Microsoft SQL Server consulting and managed services in Australia and New Zealand. Red Rock is part of the Australian listed UXC Group.

Red Rock CEO Jonathan Rubinsztein was a recent visitor here and told Computerworld the company is experiencing dramatic growth in managed services – “everything Oracle” – and surprising growth in its JDE applications business, which is focused mainly on manufacturing, retail and distribution.

“Oracle is now investing in JDE as a new platform,” he says.

That is welcome news to Fulton Hogan’s group manager of information systems, Lance Kenworthy. “Job costing is our bread and butter, and JDE handles that a lot better than other products,” he believes.

There have been issues over the years with the software. “There were a lot of problems with Enterprise One – it was pretty diabolical – and the biggest challenge has been the migration path to Version 9. It’s taken a while for Oracle to put in a decent on-going development plan around JDE, particularly with integration to the other products in the Oracle stack,” Kenworthy says.

When Fulton Hogan bought Pioneer Road Services, a large Australian asphalt company, it increased its number of JDE users to 1700. Pioneer was also a JDE company. For now, the JDE applications are housed in Christchurch but plans are to relocate “a big chunk of infrastructure” to Australia, probably within the next 12 months, Kenworthy says.

Fulton Hogan evaluated the consultant market for JDE. “We wanted support from 7am New Zealand time to 8pm West Australian time,” he says. “There were only three organisations that play in that space.

“Looking at consultants we usually find they’re generalists, not quite deep enough. Red Rock fulfilled what we needed.”

The company had an existing relationship with Red Rock, which provides all the company’s SQL database services out of Melbourne.

Rubinsztein formed Red Rock Consulting in 1999 with two partners. He says the buyout by UXC was the best way to grow the company.

Today, it is the second largest in the UXC Group by contribution to revenue and the largest contributor to group profit, he says. UXC has revenues of $A715 million.

“We’ve grown 20 percent this financial year. We’re got a network of 400 consultants in seven offices. I expect to add 60 to 80 staff in the next 18 months.”

Rubinsztein notes that Oracle has made 60 company purchases in the past five years, so there is a need to focus on what can be realistically delivered.

“In the New Zealand market that means databases, middleware, architectural services, applications and e-business. We also offer a strategic licensing service.

“Our customers want local capability for a breadth of solutions.”

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Tags jd edwardsRed RockJonathan RubinszteinpeoplesoftOracle

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